Hearts star Craig Halkett backed for Scotland recognition - what Robbie Neilson had to say

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has backed Craig Halkett to earn a Scotland call-up.

By Joel Sked
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 6:18 am
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has been hugely impressed with Craig Halkett. Picture: SNS
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has been hugely impressed with Craig Halkett. Picture: SNS

Since returning to Tynecastle as manager, Neilson has been “really impressed” with the 25-year-old.

Halkett netted the winner at the weekend in the 1-0 Betfred Cup victory over Cowdenbeath.

He is the club’s top scorer since joining from Livingston last summer, but it has been the defensive qualities which have stood out to his manager.

"Definitely if you’re asking me,” Neilson said on whether Halkett should be considered for a call-up. “I’ve been really, really impressed with him recently.

"I saw him a wee bit at Livi then I didn't see a lot of him whilst I was at Dundee United in a different league, then I came in here.

"Defensively, he reads the game very well. He's very, very powerful but he's also quick - surprisingly quick for the size of him.

"Obviously the other side of it is he's a massive threat in the opposition box, as you can see from the goals he's scored.”

In recent days, Hibs duo Paul McGinn and Paul Hanlon have both been called up, joining Ryan Porteous in the squad.

Neilson reckons the current Scotland system, with Steve Clarke favouring a three at the back, plays into Halkett’s hands.

"I'd love him to get in it,” he said. “There's a lot of good players ahead of him as well, so he just needs to continue working.

"With Scotland playing three at the back, it might give him a wee bit more of a chance to get in because they need more options there."

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